08.25.19 | Tell His Story
Text | 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart.13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
08.18.19 | A Calling King
Text | Matthew 21:28-32
28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went.30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.
08.11.19 | A Just King
Text | Luke 16:19-31
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried,23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
08.04.19 | A Returning King
Text | Matthew 25:1-13
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
07.28.19 | A Listening King
Text | Luke 18:1-8
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man,5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
07.21.19 | A Persistent King
Text | Luke 15:1-7
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
3 So he told them this parable:4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
07.14.19 | A Patient King
Text | Matthew 13:24-30
24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field,25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
07.07.19 | An Unfair Kingdom
Text | Matthew 20:1-16
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,4 and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’5 So they went.Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same.6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius.10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius.11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house,12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you.15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”
06.30.19 | A Growing Kingdom
Text | Mark 4:26-34
26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth,32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it.34 He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
06.23.19 | A Valuable Kingdom
Text | Matthew 13:44-46
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
06.16.19 | A Kingdom for All
Text | Matthew 22:1-14
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying,2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son,3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come.4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business,6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy.9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment.12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”